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liposuction risks, dangers, and unwanted effects

It is important to remember that liposuction is a surgical procedure and, as such, it is not risk free. The risks and complications of liposuction range from mild to potentially life threatening.

excess skin and need for a lift
Even within the bounds of safety, removing a large amount of fat at once may result in loose skin, depending on your skin's elasticity. Stretch marks are usually an indication of poor skin elasticity. While not a true complication, patients with stretch marks and older patients having liposuction may end up with more loose skin and may need to have excess skin removed at the same time, or after the initial surgery.

contour irregularities
Lumps and bumps, asymmetry, and irregular contours are common unwanted results of liposuction surgery. One report estimates that 20% or more of liposuction patients have a revision to improve the contour of their orginal surgery. While not a true complication, liposuction contour irregularities may necessitate further surgical revisions.

liposuction scars
Post-operative liposuction scars are permanent. Usually only two small incisions less than 4 - 10mm long are made for each area to insert the cannula. They are usually hidden in natural skin creases, pubic hair, or the belly button. To prevent scar tissue from hardening or darkening in color, it may be helpful to massage them with your fingertip and keep them out of the sun. Scar minimizing or reduction creams such as Mederma, Kelocote, or Cimeosil may also help. After about a year, the scars should fade into a thin white line.

swelling after liposuction
Swelling (also referred to as edema) may persist for weeks or months after liposuction, causing pressure on nerves, and resulting in numbness and tingling. Wearing an appropriately fitting compression garment will reduce swelling, increase comfort, and speed healing. In some instances, fluid can accumulate and collect in a space(especially after ultrasonic liposuction due to the heat produced). Sometimes, this pocket of fluid (seroma) will need to be drained with a needle. Wearing a compression garment will minimize swelling and reduce the chance of seroma formation.

infection after liposuction
Infection may result, and may be mild or severe. Many doctors prescribe antibiotics to take after surgery to prevent infection before it starts, and if it does occur, in most cases, it can be treated with oral antibiotics when caught early. Signs of infection are redness, increasing tenderness, red streaks visible on the skin, vomiting, fevers over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and chills.

burns from ultrasonic liposuction
During ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL), the ultrasound probe may become very hot and can cause burns. The surgeon can reduce the risk of ultrasound burns by not operating too close to the surface of the skin, and by not leaving the probe in one place too long.

organ damage from injury
Because the surgeon is operating under the skin through a small incision and is unable to see where the cannula is probing, it is possible to puncture internal organs such as the intestines. When organs are damaged, infection may result and surgery may be required to repair them. The risk is increased if you have intestines protruding through the abdominal wall (known as a hernia).

pulmonary emoblism
Small pieces of fat may become dislodged during liposuction and travel to the lungs as pulmonary emboli. Such a situation may result in difficulty breathing, and may require emergency treatment. If you notice shortness of breath or difficulty breathing after liposuction, call 911. The risk of a fat embolism is greatest within the first 3 days.

fluid imbalance
During tumescent liposuction, large amounts of fluids are injected. At the same time, some fluid is removed in the fat tissue. This may result in a fluid imbalance which, if not recognized and treated may result in serious conditions such as pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), or heart or kidney dysfunction. With superwet or tumescent liposuction, the risk of fluid imbalance is significantly reduced.

lidocaine overdose
Large amounts of lidocaine may be injected during liposuction. If the amount is too great, Lidocaine toxicity may result. This may present as lightheadedness, drowsiness, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, metallic taste in the mouth, numbness of the lips and tongue, shivering, muscle twitching, convulsions and ultimately, cardiac arrest. Fortunately, with the advent of tumescent liposuction, only very small concentrations of Lidocaine are used, so Lidocaine toxicity has become very rare.

liposuction deaths
Various reports in the medical literature place the risk of death due to liposuction around 3 deaths for every 100,000 liposuction operations performed (compared to 16 per 100,000 deaths from car accidents). The risk of death may increase in liposuction surgeries during which other surgical procedures are performed at the same time.

liposuction safety
To minimize the risks of liposuction, studies have shown that the safest conditions for liposuction surgery alone on healthy individuals by a properly trained and experienced surgeon using tumescent anesthesia in an outpatient setting. Extracting large amounts of fat, general anesthesia, and/or performing multiple procedures during the same surgery all increase the risk of complications.

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Introduction to Liposuction Liposuction Recovery
Ideal Candidate for Liposuction Liposuction Compression Garments
Male Liposuction Liposuction Recovery Instructions
Best Areas for Liposuction Liposuction Healing
A Word about Abdominal Lipo Liposuction Results
Liposuction and Cellulite  
  Liposuction Risks & Dangers
Liposuction Techniques Liposuction Side Effects
Suction Assited Lipectomy (SAL) Liposuction Scars
Tumescent Liposuction Liposuction Deaths
Wet / Superwet Liposuction Liposuction Safety
Ultrasonic Liposuction (UAL)  
VASER Liposuction General Lipo Information
Microliposuction Choosing a Liposuction Surgeon
Power Lipo (PAL or Power Lipo) Liposuction Surgical Facility
Large Volume Liposuction Liposuction Costs and Fees
  Liposuction Surgery Overview
Find Liposuction Surgeons "Designer Liposuction" article
See Pictures of Liposuction Liposuction Message Boards
Shop for Liposuction Garments Financing for Liposuction
Liposuction Personal Stories Liposuction Digital Imaging

Locate A Surgeon That Performs Liposuction Surgery
See Before and After Photos of Liposuction Surgery
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